Jason Naismith, who joined on a season-long loan from Peterborough United in Monday evening, appears to be the perfect man to provide fresh zest to that area of Paul Heckingbottom’s team.
The 25-year-old’s career has been on upward trajectory ever since he started to make the breakthrough at St Mirren as a team-mate of John McGinn, Darren McGregor and Stevie Mallan. After accumulating more than 100 appearances with Saints, his formative club, Naismith moved to Ross County in January 2017 and it was in Dingwall where he really started to emerge as one of the country’s outstanding full-backs.
“In his first six months with County Jason was just finding his feet but in the season we got relegated (2017/18) he was our best player by a mile,” said goalkeeper Scott Fox, a team-mate of the marauding full-back’s at County. “It just shows you how well he did that he got his move to Peterborough when we got relegated.”
Naismith moved to Peterborough on a three-year contract last summer and was a regular in a team which also featured Edinburgh boys Jamie Walker and Jason Cummings, who spent time on loan at London Road from Wigan Athletic and Nottingham Forest respectively. He started 48 games in all competitions for a team who just missed out on the League One play-offs, but the summer arrival of right-back Niall Mason from Doncaster Rovers resulted in Naismith playing second fiddle at right-back in the early weeks of this season.
“I felt when I brought Niall in it would be good competition but Jason felt he wanted to play regularly and he wasn’t happy that he didn’t start the season,” said Posh manager Darren Ferguson last month.
Naismith, eager to ensure he was able to continue playing regularly at a crucial phase in his burgeoning career, was duly allowed to head to Hibs. “I definitely think Jason will be a good signing for Hibs,” said Fox, currently at Partick Thistle. “He’s a modern-day right-back who can get forward and he has a presence about him as well. He loves to do the attacking side but he has the presence to defend as well. He ticks all the boxes.
“He’s already played a lot of games in his career. I think people forget he’s still only 25 because he’s played a lot of games over a lot of seasons. He’s looking to push on now and I think him going to Hibs will be a good move for both parties.”